My fellow Omnific writing sister, Carol Oates, is the author of many great books, but for me, her latest offering, Something Wicked, is nothing less than sublime. I’ve just (reluctantly) finished reading it and am now suffering what’s known in the trade as a book hangover! Here’s my review of it, the links to Amazon etc etc. If you fancy a book that contains within its pages not only a great story and endearing characters (of the vampire variety) but writing so poetic in places you have to stop and read the sentence over and over again just to marvel at it, this book’s for you!
Finally – A Vampire Book to Rival Anne Rice
This gets a thumping five stars from me! Normally I don’t read stories about Vampires – my love affair with them began and ended with the great Anne Rice – I just found everything ‘vampirish’ I read after that came nowhere near and so went onto other things. The Twilight series I disliked too, so all in all, vampires are not my thing. But, having read Carol Oates before and enjoyed her books, I thought I’d give her new release a go. The link with Jack the Ripper fascinated me too. All hail the return of the vampire! Well, Henry Clayton to be precise, turned against his will in the late 19th century – although the main bulk of the story takes place in 2010. A dark and intense figure, intent on finding a cure for ‘vampirism’ he is indeed ‘something wicked’ but he is also very human and as flawed as a human being can be. Having carried out heinous acts in the past, he is now trying to live on animal blood but is prone to dark thirsts and rage. Ari, whom he encounters in a cafe, has a strange, almost calming effect on him and slowly they learn how their destinies entwine. Ari is everything a great heroine should be, brave, loyal and selfless. But it’s Henry’s Scottish-born vampire sidekick, Doug, who steals the show (and perhaps needs his own book? Hint, hint!) Not only is he the bearer of some great one-liners he’s brave and loyal too – between the three of them what’s not to love?!
I’m not going to go into the mechanics of the story, you’ll have to read it yourself for that but suffice to say, Oates writing is some of the best I’ve encountered in a long while. It’s not fast-paced, it’s almost leisurely, the prose in places poetic. Normally I veer towards the fast-paced but I found myself willingly slowing down, not just reading every word but savouring it. It was a delight to return to day after day. Will I continue to read more vampire books? Probably not (unless this is the start of a series). I still think it’s been done to death. Will I continue to read Carol Oates? Most definitely, this book has made me a convert.